Compare the 2020 Subaru Ascent Premium to the 2019 Toyota Highlander Limited FWD

Choosing a family SUV is often about finding a vehicle that offers the best features for your daily routine. You need plenty of space, seating, safety features, and modern tech, and it never hurts to have solid fuel economy and reliability ratings. The 2020 Subaru Ascent offers a robust roster of the features you need for successful family outings and breezy daily drives, which is why we tend to point drivers towards it when they need a family hauler.

So, how does the Ascent stand up to rivals like the Toyota Highlander? We compared the 2020 Subaru Ascent Premium to the Toyota Highlander Limited FWD to see which one came out on top!

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Exterior and Interior

The Ascent is a bit wider, longer, and taller than the Highlander, which means that the Ascent supplies more space inside to work with when you're making room for passengers and cargo. The Ascent also supplies 8.7 inches of ground clearance, giving it an edge over the Highlander.


Inside the Ascent, you'll find 153.5 cubic feet of passenger volume which translates to more headroom and a bit more legroom in the second and third rows than the Highlander. Speaking of the third row, you'll find that the Ascent's rearmost seats offer quite a bit more wiggle room while the Highlander's third row is a bit cramped.

You'll also find more room for cargo in the Ascent no matter which configuration you choose. Need to keep all the seats up so you can bring the whole family along? There's 17.8 cubic feet of space behind the third row. Need to clear space for that piece of furniture you picked up at a yard sale? Fold the second- and third-row seats down to take advantage of the Ascent's max 86.5 cubic feet of cargo space.


One of the first differences you might notice regarding how the Ascent and Highlander approach your daily drive is in the availability of all-wheel drive. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is standard on every Ascent model, including the Subaru Ascent Premium. The Toyota Highlander Limited FWD utilizes a front-wheel drive system, and you'll need to upgrade in order to get AWD.

Both models have the potential to tow up to 5,000 pounds, but the Ascent will offer better traction and stability thanks to its standard AWD system.

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Having a high-tech interior is growing more and more important as time goes on, and the Ascent Premium is well-equipped to satisfy your needs with its robust list of sought-after features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard on every Ascent model, making it easy for you to take advantage of your favorite smartphone apps and features with a familiar touchscreen interface and responsive voice commands. These infotainment features are conspicuously absent from the Highlander's list of options.


Subaru engineers know that safety is a top priority when shopping for a family vehicle, which is why every Ascent model comes standard with Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. This suite of safety features includes technologies such as adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and lane-keeping assist to help you stay safe on the road. The Highlander offers Toyota Safety Sense, which supplies similar features but lacks Subaru EyeSight's pre-collision throttle management feature, which helps drivers avoid rear-end collisions.

Explore the 2020 Subaru Ascent Premium

Get to know the new Subaru Ascent Premium and other models in the Ascent lineup when you visit our dealership for a test drive. We'll gladly give you a more in-depth look at the new Ascent and help you find the right fit for your lifestyle.

We hope to see you soon!

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